AAP Magazine #7 - Wild

Sally Mann

American Photographer | Born: 1951
Sally Mann was born in Lexington, Virginia in 1951. She has always remained close to her roots. She has photographed in the American South since the 1970s, producing series on portraiture, architecture, landscape and still life. She is perhaps best known for her intimate portraits of her family, her young children and her husband, and for her evocative and resonant landscape work in the American South. Her work has attracted controversy at times, but it has always been influential, and since her the time of her first solo exhibition, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., in 1977, she has attracted a wide audience. Sally Mann explored various genres as she was maturing in the 1970s: she produced landscapes and architectural photography, and she blended still life with elements of portraiture. But she truly found her metier with her second publication, a study of girlhood entitled At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988). Between 1984 and 1994, she worked on the series, Immediate Family (1992), which focuses on her three children, who were then all aged under ten. While the series touches on ordinary moments in their daily lives—playing, sleeping, eating—it also speaks to larger themes such as death and cultural perceptions of sexuality. In her most recent series, Proud Flesh, taken over a six year interval, Mann turns the camera onto her husband, Larry. The resultant photographs are candid and frank portraits of a man at his most vulnerable moments. Mann has produced two major series of landscapes: Deep South (Bullfinch Press, 2005) and Mother Land. In What Remains (Bullfinch Press, 2003), she assembled a five-part study of mortality, one which ranges from pictures of the decomposing body of her beloved greyhound, to the site where an armed fugitive committed suicide on her property in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. She has often experimented with color photography, but she has remained most interested in black and white, especially photography's antique technology. She has long used an 8x10 bellows camera, and has explored platinum and bromoil printing processes. In the mid 1990s she began using the wet plate collodion process to produce pictures which almost seem like hybrids of photography, painting, and sculpture. Sally Mann lives and works in Lexington, Virginia. A Guggenheim fellow, and a three-times recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named "America's Best Photographer" by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and What Remains (2007) which premiered at Sundance and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2008. She has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Her photographs can be found in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

(Source: www.gagosian.com)

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
Author: Sally Mann
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Year: 2015 - Pages: 496
In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder."

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
 
Sally Mann: Immediate Family
Author: Sally Mann
Publisher: Aperture
Year: 2014 - Pages: 88
First published in 1992, Immediate Family has been lauded by critics as one of the great photography books of our time, and among the most influential. Taken against the Arcadian backdrop of her woodland summer home in Virginia, Sally Mann's extraordinary, intimate photographs of her children reveal truths that embody the individuality of her own family yet ultimately take on a universal quality. With sublime dignity, acute wit and feral grace, Sally Mann's pictures explore the eternal struggle between the child's simultaneous dependence and quest for autonomy--the holding on and the breaking away. This is the stuff of which Greek dramas are made: impatience, terror, self-discovery, self-doubt, pain, vulnerability, role-playing and a sense of immortality, all of which converge in these astonishing photographs. This reissue of Immediate Family has been printed using new scans and separations from Mann's original prints, which were taken with an 8 x 10-inch view camera, rendering them with a freshness and sumptuousness true to the original edition.

Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder."

In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
 
Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit
Author: Sally Mann, David Levi Strauss, John Ravenal, Anne Tucker
Publisher: Aperture Foundation
Year: 2010 - Pages: 200
Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit is the first in-depth exploration of this world-renowned artist's approach to the body. Throughout her career, Mann has fearlessly pushed her exploration of the human form, tackling often difficult subject matter and making unapologetically sensual images that are simultaneously bold and lyrical. This beautifully produced publication includes Mann's earliest platinum prints from the late 1970s, Polaroid still lifes, early color work of her children, haunting landscape images, recent self-portraits and nude studies of her husband. These series document Mann's interest in the body as principal subject, with the associated issues of vulnerability and mortality lending an elegiac note to her images. In bringing them together, author and curator John Ravenal examines the varied ways in which Mann's experimental approach, including ambrotypes and gelatin-silver prints made from collodian wet-plate negatives, moves her subjects from the corporeal to the ethereal.
 
Deep South
Author: Sally Mann
Publisher: Bulfinch
Year: 2005 - Pages: 120
The photographs in DEEP SOUTH, many produced with the 19th-century collodion process and a variety of toning techniques, capture what Mann calls the "radical light of the American South." Borrowing methods favored by early masters of landscape photography, Mann bends classic craftsmanship to serve the expressive needs of a heightened contemporary sensibility. Serendipitous technical imperfections, such as light leaks or scratches on negatives, echo the accidental, chaotic workings of time. From ghostly images of historic battlefields to painterly visions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and her native Virginia, Mann's landscape photographs transport the viewer to another time and place.
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

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